Mali: 2 U.N. peacekeepers from Sri Lanka killed

by Samuel Abasi Posted on January 26th, 2019

An improvised explosive device attack on a convoy in Mali killed two U.N. peacekeepers from Sri Lanka and injured six others.

The two peacekeepers, also known as “blue helmets,” were working with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Mali. The blast occurred Friday near Douentza, in the Mopti region of central Mali.

U.N. Secretary General Antonia Guterres condemned the attack and expressed “deep condolences to the Government of Sri Lanka, and the families of the victims.”

A proliferation of armed groups fighting government forces and their allies in Mali following a failed coup attempt six years ago have made the mission in Mali the most dangerous operation to serve in as a U.N. peacemaker, the international organization said. The Malian government has faced a series of setbacks in restoring stability since extremists took control of the country’s northern region in 2012.

Separate attacks against the U.N. mission have also occurred recently.

One day before the convoy attack, a peacekeeper from Burkina Faso was injured in a separate IED attack against a convoy in the same area.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility in the attacks.

“These cowardly acts will not deter MINUSMA’s determination to support the people and the Government of Mali in their pursuit of peace and stability,” deputy spokesman for the secretary-general Farhan Haq said in a statement.

Ten peacekeepers from Chad were killed Sunday and more than 25 others were injured in a suspected al-Qaeda-linked terrorist attack against the mission’s camp in Aguelhok.

Image: View of a U.N. ambulance damaged during the attack Sunday to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali that killed 10 Chadian peacekeepers. A separate attack against a convoy in Mali on Friday killed two peacekeepers from Sri Lanka and injured six others. United Nations Photo/Marco Dormino

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